September 19, 2016 by Staff Reporter
President Obama called on the black community to show Hillary Clinton the same support it did for him in an impassioned speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala Saturday night.
“We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” he said. “You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote.”
Obama’s reelection in 2012 marked a record turnout for black voters, and 93 percent of them backed Obama over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to exit polls.
A recent Washington Post report gave Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, an 80 percent lead over GOP nominee Donald Trump among black voters.
But Obama warned the audience to not sit back.
“If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election.
“My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now,” he said.
“And there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy, is opposition to all that we’ve done. There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter; it all matters.”
In her keynote address at the dinner, Clinton similarly presented herself as a way to carry on Obama’s legacy while warning against a Trump presidency without mentioning him by name.
“We need ideas, not insults; real plans to help struggling Americans in communities that have been left out and left behind, not prejudice and paranoia,” she said. “We can’t let Barack Obama’s legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn’t understand that, whose dangerous and divisive vision for our country will drag us backwards.”
Obama and his former secretary of State talked briefly between their two speeches, a White House official said.
The Obamas, riding a high approval rating, are crucial allies for Clinton in the final stretch of the presidential campaign. First lady Michelle Obama ripped into Trump and lauded Clinton as the most experienced presidential candidate in history at an event at George Mason University on Friday.
In a statement, the Republican National Committee (RNC), said voters shouldn’t allow Clinton to continue the Obama administration’s policies.
“Hillary Clinton only represents more of the same stale Democrat policies which have failed black Americans for decades. Over the past eight years, black youth unemployment is up and paychecks are flat, but Hillary Clinton is merely rehashing an agenda that has moved America further away from prosperity for all,” the RNC said.
“Donald Trump is putting forth new ideas that will generate millions of good jobs, deliver school choice, and put the American people first once again. Our Party is committed to fighting for the black vote and giving every American an opportunity to achieve their dreams.”